Video Games Linked To Child Aggression

2 views
Skip to first unread message

Renee Conradie

unread,
Nov 4, 2008, 5:48:56 AM11/4/08
to ga...@googlegroups.com
Picked this up on slashdot this morning: http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/11/03/1520229

the4thdimension writes "CNN is running a story this morning that explains new research showing a correlation between video games and aggression in children. The study monitored groups of US and Japanese children, asking them to rate their violent behavior over a period of several months while they played video games in their free time. The study concludes that it has "pretty good evidence" that there is a link between video games and childhood aggression." Stories like this make me want to smash things.


Aubrey Kilian

unread,
Nov 4, 2008, 8:51:14 AM11/4/08
to ga...@googlegroups.com
Hi,

You obviously played "video games" when you were younger. ;-)
Heh, just kidding. Yes, these "studies" need to be explained more and
done better. What games did they use? Was it the same game or
different games? How old were the kids? Were there other external
factors that could have contributed to the so-called aggression?

Given a group of kids and sufficient material and time, you can make a
study that proves just about anything.
These "studies" are usually rubbish anyway. Whoever funded it should
get a life.

-Aubrey

>
>
>
> >
>

Alan Amory

unread,
Nov 4, 2008, 9:47:23 AM11/4/08
to ga...@googlegroups.com
An abstract from a paper by Anderson entitles "An update on the effects of playing violent video games" from Journal of Adolescence 27 (2004) 113–122
This article presents a brief overview of existing research on the effects of exposure to violent video
games.An updated meta-analysis reveals that exposure to violent video games is significantly linked to
increases in aggressive behaviour, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, and cardiovascular arousal, and
to decreases in helping behaviour. Experimental studies reveal this linkage to be causal. Correlational
studies reveal a linkage to serious, real-world types of aggression. Methodologically weaker studies yielded
smaller effect sizes than methodologically stronger studies, suggesting that previous meta-analytic studies of
violent video games underestimate the true magnitude of observed deleterious effects on behaviour,
cognition, and affect.

BUT

from Aggression and Violent Behavior 12 (2007) 470–482 by Ferguson entitled "Evidence for publication bias in video game violence
effects literature: A meta-analytic review":
Violence in video games has come under increasing research attention over the past decade. Researchers in this area have
suggested that violent video games may cause aggressive behavior among players. However, the state of the extant literature has
not yet been examined for publication bias. The current meta-analysis is designed to correct for this oversight. Results indicated
that publication bias does exist for experimental studies of aggressive behavior, as well as for non-experimental studies of
aggressive behavior and aggressive thoughts. Research in other areas, including prosocial behavior and experimental studies of
aggressive thoughts were less susceptible to publication bias. Moderator effects results also suggested that studies employing less
standardized and reliable measures of aggression tended to produce larger effect sizes. Suggestions for future violent video game
studies are provided.

So it is about how you frame questions for political positions.

Is the world more violent today than before? Don't think so - fundamentalists just want it that way.

Best wishes
Alan


On Tue, Nov 4, 2008 at 12:48 PM, Renee Conradie <ren...@gmail.com> wrote:

Danny Day

unread,
Nov 5, 2008, 7:48:21 AM11/5/08
to Games and Learning South Africa
Well, in SA we have a rather unique opportunity to do some interesting
research then: A high fraction of the child population has not had
contact with the current generation of violent video games and we live
in a very violence-aware country. Where are our own studies on the
connection between violence and games?
> On Tue, Nov 4, 2008 at 12:48 PM, Renee Conradie <rene...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Picked this up on slashdot this morning:
> >http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/11/03/1520229
>
> > the4thdimension <http://www.crackinwise.com/> writes *"CNN is running a
> > story this morning that explains new research showing a correlation
> > between video games and aggression in children<http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/family/11/03/healthmag.violent.video.k...>.
> > The study monitored groups of US and Japanese children, asking them to rate
> > their violent behavior over a period of several months while they played
> > video games in their free time. The study concludes that it has "pretty good
> > evidence" that there is a link between video games and childhood
> > aggression."* Stories like this make me want to smash things.

Gustav Bertram

unread,
Nov 5, 2008, 9:27:49 AM11/5/08
to ga...@googlegroups.com
How about a nice little study of the effect of board games on violent behavior?
--
Random Blog: http://constantflux.co.za/
Geek Blog: http://otakumono.co.za/
Homepage: http://gustavbertram.com/

Alan Amory

unread,
Nov 6, 2008, 12:59:19 AM11/6/08
to ga...@googlegroups.com
The real question - how do we measure this? While violence and other stimuli might increase aggressive behaviors, these effects appear to be transitory. Is is the long term effect that need to be studied and this is far too complex as other factors, such as violent and abusive family situation, are important.

It is far to simple an argument to state that movie/game/other violence results in profound behavioral changes. These notions are based on Skinners ideas that are no longer widely accepted.

Steve Vosloo

unread,
Nov 6, 2008, 8:08:48 AM11/6/08
to ga...@googlegroups.com
Yes, this does seem to be a very difficult one to measure.

Has anyone read the Byron Review (http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/byronreview/)?
It was commissioned by the UK govt to -- I suspect -- raise alarm bells
about the dangers of the internet and gaming on youth. I haven't read
the full report yet, but the Exec Summary offers a calm and rational
approach the space.

--Steve



Alan Amory wrote:
> The real question - how do we measure this? While violence and other
> stimuli might increase aggressive behaviors, these effects appear to
> be transitory. Is is the long term effect that need to be studied and
> this is far too complex as other factors, such as violent and abusive
> family situation, are important.
>
> It is far to simple an argument to state that movie/game/other
> violence results in profound behavioral changes. These notions are
> based on Skinners ideas that are no longer widely accepted.
>
>
>
> On Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 4:27 PM, Gustav Bertram
> <gustav....@gmail.com <mailto:gustav....@gmail.com>> wrote:
>
>
> How about a nice little study of the effect of board games on
> violent behavior?
>
> On Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 2:48 PM, Danny Day <disl...@gmail.com
> <mailto:disl...@gmail.com>> wrote:
> >
> > Well, in SA we have a rather unique opportunity to do some
> interesting
> > research then: A high fraction of the child population has not had
> > contact with the current generation of violent video games and
> we live
> > in a very violence-aware country. Where are our own studies on the
> > connection between violence and games?
> >
> > On Nov 4, 4:47 pm, "Alan Amory" <alan.am...@gmail.com
--
Steve Vosloo
Fellow, Communication and Analytical Skills Development
The Shuttleworth Foundation

Tel: +27 21 970 1240 | Fax: +27 21 970 1241
Web: www.shuttleworthfoundation.org
Blog: www.innovatingeducation.wordpress.com

Email disclaimer: wiki.tsf.org.za/EmailDisclaimer



Katja

unread,
Nov 7, 2008, 12:38:26 AM11/7/08
to Games and Learning South Africa
What really get's me about the discussion about games and violence is
how every side of the fence feels self-righteous and and has to vent
it's frustration - in this case - about yet another, most likely
flawed, study linking games to an increase in aggression. Why can't we
get over ourselves and just accept that there is a strong possibility
that games contribute to aggressive behavior - just like a million
other things do: television, comics, movies, books, violence and
aggression in the home, you name it.
If you read the thread of posts on slashdot, what is noteworthy that
within no time the discussion turns completely away from aggression in
children caused by games to the impotence of parents and educators to
reign in their children's aggression in an over-litigious, over-
reactive and over-protective society (IMHO).
So it seems that the logic that is being employed and that is at the
bottom of the aggression from games studies is that because we can't
control the aggression, the aggression itself is the root of all evil.
But who decided that aggression in and of itself is bad? I know I'm
going onto controversial ground here and touching on the philosophical
question of what is good and evil. That's a discussion for another
day.
So back to games - if we start from the premise that aggression as
such is not deplorable and needs to be suppressed, but take on the
stance that aggression needs to be understood and contextualized by
the aggressor, then what does that imply for us as a group of people
supporting education through games?
How can we contribute to that at the same time when there is violence
shown and acted out in a game there is also space and NEED for the
contextualization of the actions.
We believe that knowledge gained from playing games is transferable
into real life. That means to me that we have to accept that behaviors
gained from playing games are also transferable. Shouldn't the
synthesis be to look for ways to create the understanding of the
consequences of aggression within the game and let that spill over
into real life as well?

Just a thought....

K

On Nov 6, 3:08 pm, Steve Vosloo
<steve.vos...@shuttleworthfoundation.org> wrote:
> Yes, this does seem to be a very difficult one to measure.
>
> Has anyone read the Byron Review (http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/byronreview/)?
> It was commissioned by the UK govt to -- I suspect -- raise alarm bells
> about the dangers of the internet and gaming on youth. I haven't read
> the full report yet, but the Exec Summary offers a calm and rational
> approach the space.
>
> --Steve
>
>
>
> Alan Amory wrote:
> > The real question - how do we measure this? While violence and other
> > stimuli might increase aggressive behaviors, these effects appear to
> > be transitory. Is is the long term effect that need to be studied and
> > this is far too complex as other factors, such as violent and abusive
> > family situation, are important.
>
> > It is far to simple an argument to state that movie/game/other
> > violence results in profound behavioral changes. These notions are
> > based on Skinners ideas that are no longer widely accepted.
>
> > On Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 4:27 PM, Gustav Bertram
> > <gustav.bert...@gmail.com <mailto:gustav.bert...@gmail.com>> wrote:
>
> >     How about a nice little study of the effect of board games on
> >     violent behavior?
>
> >     On Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 2:48 PM, Danny Day <dislek...@gmail.com

Adele Botha

unread,
Nov 6, 2008, 1:36:15 PM11/6/08
to ga...@googlegroups.com

The ethics would be a minefield!



No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG - http://www.avg.com
Version: 8.0.199 / Virus Database: 270.8.6/1769 - Release Date: 11/5/2008 7:17 AM

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages